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Organs: Donors

Question for Department for Education

UIN 50665, tabled on 16 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward legislative proposals on the teaching of organ donation in post-primary education settings.

Answered on

24 September 2021

The national curriculum includes content that can be used by teachers as an opportunity to inform pupils about organ donation. For example, pupils are taught about this as part of the Key Stage 4 science curriculum. The national curriculum is compulsory in state-maintained schools and is often used as a benchmark by academies and free schools.

Since September 2020, it has been compulsory for schools to teach relationships education to primary school-aged pupils, relationships and sex education to secondary school-aged pupils and health education to all pupils in state-maintained schools. The statutory guidance on relationships, sex and health education sets out that by the end of secondary school, pupils should know about the science relating to blood, organ and stem cell donation.

The department has published teacher training modules, including online modules for primary and secondary teachers containing key knowledge and facts to help teachers understand what they must teach in relation to the new requirements. This can be done flexibly and can include teaching about organ donation.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools continue to have flexibility over how they deliver important topics and use their autonomy and local community knowledge to do this.

Health education in schools in Northern Ireland are matters for the Department of Education for Northern Ireland.